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End-of-Session Legislative Recap
Posted on: 7/20/2017

Want to be sure you didn't miss any important legislative happenings in Springfield this year?

Check out our newly released 2017 Update on ISMS Legislative Activity.

This 22-page summary covers health-related legislation considered this year in Illinois and demonstrates the value of your membership dues dollars.

The lingering budget impasse made it much more difficult than usual for any legislation to move. Even so, your ISMS legislative team worked hard on your behalf and achieved a number of significant victories, advancing physician priorities to protect you and your patients and battling ill-conceived policies.

Here are the highlights:

  • General Assembly passes bill to protect patients who purchase health insurance

    Illinois lawmakers cleared ISMS' top legislative priority, the Network Adequacy and Transparency Act (NAT Act). The measure ( House Bill 311) will be transmitted to Governor Rauner. ISMS has communicated to the governor, urging him to sign the bill into law.

    Here are the key provision of House Bill 311:

    1. Insurance companies will have tomake sure their networks meet patients' needs – that means enough health facilities and doctors, including specialists, in close proximity to where their policyholders live.
    2. Health plans must be more transparent; provider directories must be kept up-to-date. If a doctor or hospital is dropped from a network, the insurance company will have to notify patients in a timely fashion to help the patient avoid surprise out-of-network charges. Doctors will also have new notification requirements if they choose to leave a network.
    3. No disruption in patient care. If a patient's doctor is dropped from the network and the patient is pregnant or has a complex medical condition, that patient will be able to stay with his or her same doctor long enough to make a smooth transition – without getting charged extra.

    ISMS will keep you informed of any developments concerning this legislation as we await the governor's action.

    Read our  position paper on network adequacy.

  • No new reporting mandate for physicians

    Senate Bill 655 would have required every physician to report to the Secretary of State certain medical conditions of a patient that are likely to cause loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to safely operate a motor vehicle within 10 days of the physician becoming aware of the condition.

    While we remain concerned about the safety of drivers in Illinois, ISMS and the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians opposed the legislation, as it would potentially require physician reporting of more than one million patients to the Secretary of State.

    Due to ISMS opposition, this legislation did not advance.

ISMS advocated against inappropriate scope-of-practice bills.

  • Stopped: APRNs sought independent practice authority

    The top priority of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) had been to secure complete independent practice with full prescriptive authority. But ISMS was able to prevent this dangerous and unwarranted expansion of their scope of practice and an ISMS-proposed alternative was agreed to by the nurses.

    The General Assembly passed House Bill 313, which will be transmitted to Governor Rauner for signature.

  • Dangerous legislation blocked! Lay midwives wanted licensure
  • Legislation to license undertrained midwives surfaced again in Springfield, but has been stopped in its tracks.

    Senate Bill 1754 would have allowed lay midwives to become licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Currently, only nurse midwives are licensed.

    Senate Bill 1754 did not pass the Senate, and therefore the House did not consider it during the spring legislative session.

    ISMS remains opposed to the licensure of lay midwives due to safety concerns for the mother and baby. Simply put, lay midwives do not have adequate training to provide medical services.

  • No licensure for naturopaths

    House Bill 2530 and Senate Bill 708 would have created the Naturopathic Medical Practice Act and provided for the regulation of "naturopathic physicians" through licensure by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

    Naturopaths had hoped to offer the public a form of “alternative treatment” that includes the use of nutrition, herbal therapy, homeopathy and behavior modification.  Naturopaths are neither trained for nor capable of diagnosing and treating physical ailments.

    In the face of very strong ISMS opposition, neither bill was called for a vote in committee.

For the latest updates, stay tuned to the Legislative Action Hub and watch future editions of Physician Advocate.

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